2015 Sydney Championships – $5k Challenge NLH / Day 2 / Final Table

Winner, winner, chicken dinner…

Daniel Neilson (pictured above) has overcome a tough heads-up battle with Trent Miller to win the $5K Challenge here at the Star Poker room. Neilson had a significant lead for most of the head’s up play and eventually made it play for a $115,000 payday! Miller didn’t go out empty handed, buying drinks at the bar with his $77,000!

We’ll see you back at the Star Poker room tomorrow from 12.30pm for the first flight of the MAIN EVENT.

While Dan and Trent are playing with each other…

The $550 PLO event has concluded with friends (we think they’re friends based on the photos) Jimmy Tran, Tam Truong and David Tam finishing top three in that order. Jimmy takes home almost $14k for his troubles. Well played boys!

Oh’ Danny boy

Daniel Neilson is pushing ahead, now with a 3:1 chip lead. Nothing against Trent, but Neilson is using all of his experience to get the job done.

So it’s head’s up!


Daniel Neilson (pictured left)  is taking on Trent Miller (pictured right)  for the title. Chip counts are about even so it could be a long night. Neilson has won this event before so wants to do it again, while Miller is seriously motivated (you can see it in his eyes!).

Hassib bows out

Hassib Younan has busted in third place to the hands of Daniel Neilson. Younan pushedall-in pre-flop. Tabling Kc-Qc, Neilson called with As-Jc. The board ran out Jc-10-9-2-8 to knock Younan out of the tournament for $55,789.

Latest payouts

Three players remain. Payouts to date include:

4 $36,551 Laurence Hall
5 $26,933 Yibo Zhou
6 $20,199 Michael Tran (Pokerlife)
7 $17,314 Didier Guerin
8 $14,428 James Camilleri

Hall not happy

PokerMedia friend (!) and Star Poker regular Laurence Hall has busted in 4th place. He got it in with his black K-K vs Q-Q of Trent Miller, but although he had outs midway through with spades, got busted with the initial Q on the flop and plenty of 7s after a board of Q-7-7-9-7!

Playin’ tough

The 15 players that started play today have slowly windled down to 6, down from the 81 entries for the event. Most recently, James Camilleri has busted in 8th place ($14,428) and Didier Guerin in 7th ($17,314).


1 $115,425
2 $76,950
3 $55,789
4 $36,551
5 $26,933
6 $20,199
7 $17,314
8 $14,428
9 $11,543 Kamyar Ekrami
10 $9,618 Daniel Laidlaw

End of 16

At the end of 16 levels of play, and ahead of a 30-minute break, chip counts are as follows:

Hassib Younan 302,000 72,000
Trent Miller 274,000 74,000
Didier Guerin 185,000 -9,000
Laurence Hall 140,000 55,000
Yibo Zhou 87,000 -3,000
James Camilleri 75,000 27,000
Daniel Neilson 68,000 13,000
Michael Tran 51,000 -99,000
Kamyar Ekrami 0 -45,000
Daniel Laidlaw 0 -36,000

See ya

A couple of gents have been eliminated. Daniel Laidlaw in 10th ($9618) and Kamyar Kkrami in 9th ($11,543).

End of level counts

At the end of level 15 the chip counts are as follows:

Hassib Younan 230,000 70,000
Trent Miller 200,000 75,000
Didier Guerin 194,000 74,000
Michael Tran 150,000 30,000
Yibo Zhou 90,000 -55,000
Laurence Hall 85,000 25,000
Daniel Neilson 55,000 -17,000
James Camilleri 48,000 -22,000
Kamyar Ekrami 45,000 5,000
Daniel Laidlaw 36,000 -25,000
Jose Quintas 0 -42,000
Tolly Sakellariou 0 -82,000
Ali Ghezelbash 0 -28,000
Michael Kanaan 0 -18,000

Bubble bursts

In pre-flop action, Tolly Sekellariou finds himself all-in for his remaining 55k against Trent Miller’s big stack of almost 200k. Tolly tables K-J but comes up against the A-K of Miller. The board runs out K-9-6-8-Q for no assistance to Tolly and he becomes the unfortunate bubble boy!

Bubble time

The top 10 will make the cash and it’s bubble time! Didier Guerin with a big stack of almost 200k, calls Kamyar Ekrami in his pre-flop shove of about 40k. Guerin tables A-5 v A-9 as the board runs out 10-9-2-6-6 to double up Ekrami and keep the bubble alive.

3-way action

Trent Miller, Kamyar Ekrami and Jose Quintas got tangled in a hand where there were two all-ins but Miller decided to leave it to the short stacks. Kamyar tabled JsJx v A-10 of Quintas. The board ran out Jx-Ks-4s-6s and…..a 7s on river to keep Kamyar alive!

Level 14 update

Just after the start of level 14 where the blinds were 1200 / 2400 with an ante of 300, chip counts were as follows:

 First Name Last Name Chip count Change
Hassib Younan 160,000 19,700
Yibo Zhou 145,000 50,400
Trent Miller 125,000 56,200
Michael Tran 120,000 5,000
Didier Guerin 120,000 20,000
Tolly Sakellariou 82,000 -48,000
Daniel Neilson 72,000 25,000
James Camilleri 70,000 -34,000
Daniel Laidlaw 61,000 -7,200
Laurence Hall 60,000 40,800
Jose Quintas 42,000 -68,000
Kamyar Ekrami 40,000 -10,000
Ali Ghezelbash 28,000 -4,600
Michael Kanaan 18,000 -24,700
George Karageorge 0 -82,200

George is out

Upon entering the new Star Poker room for the first time (and may we add, a great location it is, finally – more on that over the weekend), we’ve been advised that George Karageorge is the first casualty of the day. We’re not sure of the exact circumstances but he’s been left with no chips, and is therefore busted!

Poker Media is in ‘da house

Star Poker Manager, Stephen Ibrahim, has roped us into providing some reports about the $5k Challenge as part of our Sydney Champs coverage! That’s fair enough, there are some decent players at the tables and history is being made. We can’t speak of why Daniel Neilson is still in the field but you get lucky sometimes (just kidding Daniel!).

Day 1 began yesterday with 15 players making it through to play today. Play recommenced at 4pm. Those that made it through were:

Hassib Younan
Michael Tran
Jose Quintas
Tolly Sakellariou
Yibo Zhou
Daniel Neilson
Laurence Hall
James Camilleri
Didier Guerin
Michael Kanaan
Trent Miller
Ali Ghezelbash
George Karageorge
Kamyar Ekrami
Daniel Laidlaw

We’ll do our best to bring you some reports from play tonight. Anything that happens in the wee early morning hours of play will be updated tomorrow ahead of the first flight of the Main Event.

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